Category Archives: Safety

two men washing the windows of a tall building

Safety, Risk Taking, and . . . Mating Rituals?

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A good way to identify the risks that might emerge at your workplace is to consider what would be salient to our ancestors in the ritual mating dance. While showing off now involves crazy selfies and YouTube videos (selfeos?), we spent generations showing off by braving heights and swimming in deep waters and approaching fierce animals. According to a recent study, it turns out that these risks are so ingrained that we are still more likely to take ancient risks when we are in the mood to show off our skill and derring-do than modern risks like driving without a seat belt or ignoring PPE (which we still do, but for other reasons)…

work gloves

First Responder Gloves

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When choosing a work glove, there are several criteria that need to be considered to optimize the combination of performance and safety. Too often, a worker will remove a glove that degrades his or her touch sensitivity or fine motor control and get cut, burned, or electrocuted as a result. OSHA has a good guide for general considerations like thermal protection, touch sensitivity, tear and puncture resistance, and other criteria…

a rendering of an intersection showing striped crosswalks and sidewalks

Designing for Pedestrian Safety

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I am really curious what you think about this fundamental rethink of the pedestrian crossing. It was designed by an architectural firm in San Francisco where there is an average of 3 pedestrians hit by cars every day.

A firm called Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects is trying to reduce accidents by rethinking how people get from one side of the street to the other. The company … has come up with a network of pedestrian lanes and planters that blur the usual boundaries ­between walkers and drivers…

pal-v flying car shown driving on the road and flying in the air

Want a Flying Car?

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I am disappointed that the flying car came out in Europe first, although I can’t afford the $400k price tag anyway. “Flying cars have been reserved to science fiction… until now. Pal-V, a Dutch company, has created the world’s first road (and air) legal flying car”…

Ladder pointing up into the sky

Effective Warnings from Parents to Children

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The March 24th edition of Scientific American’s 60-Second Mind has a message that I think everyone who has studied human factors can relate to. The message: children are more likely to stop a risky behavior when parents explain to them the nature of the hazard and the possible consequences…

An image of notes and other brainstorming tools

User Experience in the Mainstream Media

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It was great to read this interview with Michael Heilemann from Squarespace and Aarron Walter from Mailchimp at Fast Company magazine. The takeaway I want to highlight today is that the way these two tech execs define user experience is very interdisciplinary. It involves every area of human factors. As a quick test, I scanned the list of HFES Technical Groups and I couldn’t find one that wasn’t included and essential in their definition…

Image of a MakerBot Replicator 2 with example printed objects including a skull, diamond, and landing gear

3D Printing, Unexpected Consequences, and User Experience

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Is this something that you would appreciate as a user? “The startup KeyMe, which says it’s trying to bring “innovation” to the locksmith industry, has launched a partnership with the 3-D printing marketplace Shapeways to let people print copies of their own keys on demand.”…